A few months ago, in fact a few months after my book was published—this article was released on the Stream called “After Pentecost, was the Church Communist?” Of course, being a right wing Christian website the answer is “no”—but what I find interesting is how they arrive at that answer. The author of the article, Jay Richards defines communism this way:
Communism is based on Marx’s theory of class warfare. Under capitalism, Marx predicted, the workers are exploited and at some point, revolt against the capitalists — the owners of the means of production. The workers take control of private property by force and then the state owns it on behalf of the people. Then, after a while, Marx claimed, the socialist state would wither away and you’d get a communist utopia in which everyone lived in peace, harmony and preternatural freedom.
Continue reading “Jay gets Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 wrong”
I would argue that the best summation of Christian ethics is found in the sermon on the plain in Luke 6:20–49. What I love about the sermon on the plain is just how radical it seems on the surface, it seems almost impossible; however, when you think about what it’s saying, and think about it deeply—it makes sense. Probably my favorite example of this is found in Luke 6:34–35 (NRSV):
If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Continue reading “Jesus against Hillel on Usury”
Over the last few months I haven’t been posting that regularly, there’s a few reasons for that; one reason is that I’ve been working on a book. The book I’ve been working on is called All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians, which has just been published by Wipf and Stock.
Continue reading “All Things in Common: a book”
An article recently came out some outlining common explanations of where religious thought comes from. I become weary when people attempt to talk about “religious thought” as if there were such a thing. The fact is that the distinction in the west between the secular and the religious is a recent one, more or less springing up with the enlightenment. In addition, it’s important to point out that there is no broad “religious thought” just as there is no broad “political thought.” In politics there is Liberal thought, Socialist thought, Conservative thought, in the past there was Monarchist thought and so on. In religion there is very little that can be said when comparing say, Roman Catholicism and Zen Buddhism, or Ancient Aztec human sacrifice cults and Jainism.
Continue reading “The nonsense of purely scientific accounts of Religion”